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CIUT logo.png
Frequency89.5 MHz (FM)
FormatCampus and community programming
OwnerUniversity of Toronto Community Radio Inc. (registered charity)
First air date
Call sign meaning
CI University of Toronto
Technical information
ERP15 kW
HAAT270 metres (890 ft)[2]
WebcastListen Live

CIUT-FM is a campus and community radio station owned and operated by the University of Toronto. The station broadcasts live and continuously from Toronto on the 89.5 FM frequency. Programming can also be heard nationally via channel 826 on Shaw Direct, and over the internet via the CIUT website. The station is financially supported by donations and an undergraduate student levy.[3] CIUT-FM also broadcasts a Punjabi and Urdu language station, Sur Sagar Radio on a Subsidiary Communications Multiplex Operation frequency.

CIUT's studios are located on Tower Road on the University of Toronto campus, while its transmitter is located atop First Canadian Place in Toronto's Financial District.


The station began as a closed-circuit broadcaster called Radio Varsity in 1966, later becoming Input Radio, UTR and then CJUT. All these versions of the station were only heard within the confines of the University of Toronto, thanks to an extensive network of loudspeakers, amplifiers, and cables strung through the extensive underground network of steam tunnels beneath the University's St. George campus.[4] The station was granted a broadcast license and became CIUT-FM in 1986, [5] and on January 15, 1987, the station's FM broadcasts began to reach a considerably wider range across southern Ontario.[3]

In 1999, CIUT was $150,000 in debt resulting in the student union taking over management, firing two employees,[6] dismissing five volunteers,[7] shortening time slots for other programs and selling late-night time slots to an internet broadcaster.[6]

The next year, the station was sued by one of the dismissed programmers, Eddy Brake, who challenged his dismissal as well as the restructuring.[7] The lawsuit was settled out of court in 2005.[8]

The old headquarters of CIUT-FM at 91 St. George Street, opposite Robarts Library

Today, CIUT broadcasts at 15 kilowatts from a transmitter on the top of First Canadian Place in Downtown Toronto. With greater signal power than generally found at other community radio stations, CIUT's broadcast reaches as far as Barrie to the north, Buffalo to the south, Kitchener to the west and Cobourg to the east.[9]

In 2009, CIUT moved from 91 St. George Street, the Victorian house it had occupied for 40 years, to new studios in Hart House. The old location was demolished in order to make way for the expansion of the Rotman School of Management.[10]

In the fall of 2010, CIUT's board of directors cancelled station manager Brian Burchell's contract due to financial irregularities. As a result, program director Ken Stowar was appointed to the additional role of station manager.[11]

In 2012, CIUT filed a lawsuit against Burchell seeking damages of $162,193.68 for what The Varsity newspaper described as "alleged long-term embezzlement" prior to his firing in October 2010.[12]

In 2014, the CIUT transmitter of 27 years died, shutting the station off the air for a couple of days until a backup transmitter could be shipped to Toronto from Nova Scotia. In the ensuing fundraising drive, money was raised and a new transmitter was installed and operating by August.


Programs in the spoken word (talk radio) format include: local politics, current events and news; as well as programs focused on Indigenous Peoples, Women in Politics, African Canadian Families, Community Activism, and Health Care.

Musical programming includes many different genres such as folk, classical, Latino, world music, indie, rock, and electronic music. CIUT is the home of The Prophecy, the longest running drum and bass radio show in North America.

Aside from being home to two of the longest running Hip Hop shows in Canada; The Drill Squad & The Masterplan Show, 6 Degrees has been recognized as one of the most influential Hip Hop radio shows in Toronto today.


Former Radio Varsity/CIUT talent includes:


  1. ^ " - powered by REC".
  2. ^ "FM Radio Station Database".
  3. ^ a b About 89.5,
  4. ^ "University of Toronto Steam Tunnels", Infiltration Journal, July 2000
  5. ^ Decision CRTC 86-237
  6. ^ a b "CKLN tunes out volunteers" Archived 2011-08-23 at the Wayback Machine, The Varsity, September 22, 2008
  7. ^ a b "National: U of T student president slapped with lawsuit" Archived 2004-11-11 at the Wayback Machine, The Peak, January 10, 2000
  8. ^ Notice, The Bulletin, May 9, 2005, page 10.
  9. ^ Radio Station History - CIUT-FM Archived 2016-03-04 at the Wayback Machine, Canadian Communications Foundation
  10. ^ "CIUT to shack up at Hart House" Archived 2011-10-09 at the Wayback Machine, The Varsity, June 16, 2008
  11. ^ "CIUT manager axed" Archived 2011-08-23 at the Wayback Machine, The Varsity, October 25, 2010
  12. ^ Smeenk, Dan (November 26, 2012). "U of T radio station to sue former general manager: Lawsuit details alleged long-term embezzlement at CIUT 89.5". The Varsity. Retrieved November 28, 2012.
  13. ^ "Radical reverend star in NDP race" Archived 2012-10-15 at the Wayback Machine, NOW Magazine, July 13, 2006

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 43°39′52″N 79°23′54″W / 43.66450°N 79.39834°W / 43.66450; -79.39834